Fedcap Announces a $750,000 Grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to Launch an Innovative Program for Foster Families

Jun 21, 2013, 10:13 ET from Fedcap

NEW YORK, June 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fedcap (http://www.fedcap.org), a national nonprofit organization that helps people with barriers achieve economic independence, today announced $750,000 in support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to provide professional development for foster parents and create college-going cultures within foster homes.

Currently, the national statistics for college matriculation and graduation of youth in foster care are bleak. While seventy percent of youth in care say they want to attend college, only ten percent of them enroll and less than three percent graduate.  This grant can change these outcomes.

The grant spans two years and will help Fedcap launch an innovative PrepNOW! curriculum – the first of its kind – designed to boost college enrollment and graduation among youth in foster care. Both the curriculum and its personalized coaching program will enhance caregivers' knowledge, skills and motivation to nurture the educational aspirations and professional ambitions of youth in their care, as well as provide the tools they need to maneuver the financial aid and college application processes.

"Fedcap is committed to 'Changing the Story' for youth in foster care and ensuring that they have every available resource to help them succeed," said Christine McMahon, Fedcap President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are so grateful to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for supporting an exciting new initiative that will build upon our work to level the playing field for youth in foster care."

With the support of this grant, Fedcap will work with the New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS) and child placing agencies across New York City to provide professional development and college preparation training to 400 foster parents and families.

Fedcap will leverage its recent merger with ReServe (www.reserveinc.org) to recruit and train twenty older professionals age 55+ ("ReServists") to provide the coaching and support to foster parents.

"Although data show that the majority of youth in foster care  have college aspirations, without the presence of a strong and supportive college-going culture in their foster homes, very few have the supports they need to realize their dreams," said Lorrie Lutz, Fedcap Chief Strategy Officer. "Fedcap has been working hard to reverse the dismal outcomes for youth transitioning from care and we are so thankful to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for their support to help us launch this groundbreaking initiative in New York—one that  we hope will be adopted by child welfare agencies and nonprofits across the country."

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is a family foundation established in 1944 by the man who started Hilton Hotels, providing funds to nonprofit and government organizations working to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people throughout the world.  The Foundation works to directly address the challenges youth in care face as they age out of the child welfare system by supporting innovative programs that meet the needs of particularly vulnerable youth, and provide these young people the skills they need to succeed in life.

Fedcap serves some 3,300 youth and young adults annually.  In addition to a series of sequenced and targeted interventions designed to help youth become self-sufficient adults, Fedcap convenes high-level discussions through our Solution Series forums to develop knowledge-based strategies to Change the Story for youth in care.

For more information about Fedcap and its programs for youth, go to our website page for Programs and Services for Youth and Young Adults.

About Fedcap
Fedcap helps people break through barriers to achieve long-term economic security through four Practice Areas: Economic Development, Education, Occupational Health and Workforce Development. Our programs and operations bring education and the power of work to youth in transition, adults with conviction histories, veterans, individuals with disabilities and many others facing barriers to employment. We place people in jobs across a wide variety of sectors and employ more than 1,800 in our own businesses. Fedcap is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information call 212-727-4200 or visit www.fedcap.org. Follow Fedcap on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/fedcap) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/Fedcap).

Media Contacts: Jesse Dean at 212-727-4321 or jdean@fedcap.org or James Cook at 212-727-4375 or jcook@fedcap.org